Being 100% Accountable

Christopher Hoffmann
3 min readOct 12, 2023

It wasn’t until my late 40s when I finally made a commitment to 100% accountability. It came after being confronted by my COO at the time who said, “If you don’t stop blaming other people for your poor choices, and feel the pain of the impact of those choices, you’re never going to learn your lessons. And if you’re not willing to learn, I don’t want to work here.”

From that experience I began a long internal inquiry into what drove my unconscious feelings to act certain ways. The result was to discover a more solid outlook on myself, creating a secure and safe environment for others.

I recognized how I was avoiding the “Feelings of failure”, to then simply ask myself what was so scary about that itchy, sizzling anxiety, a poor choice created. Well, with enough reflection I discovered, those “feelings” sat in exactly the same place in my subconscious as my self-worth or self-respect.

By being overly sensitive to what others thoughts of me, I was always tempted to shape how I was “seen” through a long string of little lies and bent truths. This is what feels unsafe to others, because it gives the impression the mind is distracted by stories and not focused on watching the horizon for external threats.

I then had an epiphany, changing from a need to be validated, to a conscious deliberate choice to keep a store or bank balance of self-respect I could trade-in when needed.

I then started making contact with my true “intent” or “motivation” for everything I did. This too brought up how my ill formed subconscious ethics, hid WHY I did what I did. The hiding turned out to be a result again of my poor self-respect or shame in how I believed I deserved (or didn’t) what I desired. Shame as defined as, “A demand for conformity, with a threat of disconnection.”

This controlling need to shape reality turned out again, to be a coping skill to manage my unconscious need to be validated by others. This of course is at the heart now of my ability to say NO, even though it might hurt someone’s feelings.

There’s nothing worse than a watery ill-defined task which is offered more to not disappoint someone. Then if it goes wrong, to say it was never really agreed to. Accountability is an upfront agreement to assure others involved, the safe execution of that task will be handled so others can relax knowing my eyes are on the horizon and the ground at the same time. This creates trust and security for others. The NO part, is if the task isn’t something which can be owned at 100% then best to stop right there and find someone who can.

The last breakthrough was to get honest with my motivations or intent under every decision I made. Was I being transparent in what I thought I could gain from a choice involving others, or was I shaping how I wanted it to go?

Accountability has many hidden weaknesses, yet so much capacity to build trust when one’s dedication is to truth, while assuring an attachment to the outcome isn’t so tied to our own ego.